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TJ is a horrible litterbug and you shouldn't do this ok
I ran a trivia contest where the prize was a cameo in the comic as this hotel clerk (and a free copy of vol 3 when it came out). I think it's kinda funny that the winner had this sweet smile, and wound up with such tough, sarcastic dialogue :D
This place is based on an actual strip club out on Hwy 1 by Providence Bay. The real place doesn't have the third-story motel, though.
Telugu again. The dialogue does make sense if you can read it, but the point here was to show the POV change and that TJ doesn't understand what's going on, so I'm leaving it untranslated here.
Speaking Telugu again. No translation necessary here.
Like lobbing tennis balls at a brick wall.
In case you're unfamiliar: rent in San Francisco. It's considerably less in Berkeley and Oakland, but... yeah. There's a reason Amal's Berkeley apartment was teeny. (Realistically, he should have had a roommate, but the plot didn't allow for it. Or maybe he had a roommate and they were away for the weekend...?)
- Amal's getting his shrieking sounds confused. "Shrimp-shell pie" is a joke my husband and I have, sort of a term that encompasses anything gross.
This place is based roughly on a friend's off-campus student housing. (She also graduated from Brown University.)
That's a real thing! The business name changed to Big Blue Bug Pest Control but the giant bug is still there, on I-95 as you're entering Providence.
shut up tj you are hitting too close to home
Note Amal's checking for signs of unibrow in the rearview mirror. (He has to maintain those caterpillars!)
The Sesame Street movie TJ's referring to is called "Don't Eat The Pictures".
Song on the stereo is The Decemberists' "California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade".
Chapter title comes from Bill Callahan's song "Riding for the Feeling" and The Treetops' song "Gospel".
"Manam intha neeku chesina" is (roughly) "after all we've done for you..." in Telugu. The original translation was for the full sentence "After all we've done for you, you still treat us like this?" but the translator and I agreed it felt more natural to have him trail off like that halfway through. It still gets the sentiment across.
The titles for both Chapter 35 and Chapter 36 come from the song "The Cool, Cool River" by Paul Simon.

TJ's body is a blessing and a curse... almost never hung over, but almost always hungry :U